My first impression of this program was positive. I really like the very friendly and easy-to-use layout of the textbook and student workbook. The pages have just enough graphs, tables, and pictures to support the text yet not be overwhelming. The print is larger than many textbooks I have looked at, and the student workbook is laid out in a very user-friendly manner. The student has ample room to fill in the questions. The sections where the student labels a specimen, such as a star fish, are easy to read and see all of the parts. As I looked through the books, I thought the layout was wonderful.
However, I don't agree with some of the text material. Science is a serious subject and should be stated in a serious, fact-based manner without opinionated observations that try to persuade the student to a particular point of view. My children are being raised with a love for God and a passion for truth in science. I believe they can go hand-in-hand. I don't teach my children young-earth or creationism theories. Since Apologia is creation and young-earth based, I have never looked at it before. Now that I have, I am disappointed that it indeed does not fit my family's needs. That said, this program is rigorous and teaches a strong foundation for a high school student. It would be a good fit for some families.
My friend was searching for a marine biology course for her daughter and begged me to loan this to her. I did and her daughter (13) devoured the first three modules. She loved the science experiments and was delighted that most of the materials were already in her home. She also loved the layout. She told me "the book is just beautiful and fun to use". She felt that the sections were clear and flowed easily into each other. She thought that the text prepared her well for the tests. She was sad to give it back to me.
I think this curricula is a winner for creation science homeschoolers, because it is rigorous, easy to use, has great experiments and is complete. I also really appreciate the audio CD that can be used for auditory learners or families on the go. We certainly do our fair share of "car schooling" and an audio like this would come in handy. The audio is clear and the reader has a friendly voice that is easy to follow along.
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